Las Vegas, NV – Looking back over my notes on CES, I realized there was a common thread to some of the talks that weren’t really focused in this particular direction. Caregivers are being talked about more and more because of the huge relevance they are having in all levels of healthcare. There was an interesting panel that focused on what happens when caregivers are interviewed about what they need from the healthcare industry, more specifically in terms of what they need during their daily routine. Caregivers often describe solutions on schedule. They have “no time.” After that they mention “wicked problems.” These wicked problems are things like toileting or bathing or forgetting to eat. So the question becomes why aren’t we addressing these “wicked problems.” Often the answer is that they just aren’t that easy to innovate against. Solving someones scheduling issues are much more direct. Designers can build calendars and create notifications and so on. But what do you do about a loved one that get’s out of the bed in the middle of the night and starts wondering, and what if they fall? These wicked or bigger problems need to become part of the focus when we try an innovate solutions. Hopefully product designers will think about the entire ecosystem they are solving for and help restore dignity to patients and to their caregivers who are dealing with these unsolved issues.

If you want to check out two individuals, kids, that are making giant strides with their own wearables take a look at SafeWander and OneRing. I had the privilege to hear them speak at CES as well.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for shaping the company’s perspective on the next era of healthcare marketing. Through thought leadership, strategic innovation workshops and new products and capabilities, Leigh focuses on identifying marketing approaches that will fuel that new era and generate significant growth for clients. Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for over 17 years. She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she had several leadership roles at one of our agencies, GSW. There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business. Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes. A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice, Leigh also was recognized as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.